Designs for a Monogrammed Lorgnon with Female Figures, Fruits and Leaves

Anonymous, French, 19th century French

Not on view

Drawing with a design for a lorgnon, executed after a design created by a French jeweler around 1852 featured in Henri Vever's "La bijouterie française au XIX siècle" (French Jewelry of the 19th Century), part of an album of drawings by various artists for individual pieces of jewelry, containing a variety of designs in the Art Nouveau style of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, as well as some pieces in historic period styles. This design consists of an oval frame with a monogram, flanked above by scrolling leaves, and below by a bundle of round fruit motifs and leaves, upon which stand two half-naked female figures, their hips covered by draped pieces of fabric, one standing to each side of the monogrammed frame. A bundle of stylized leaves and fruits hangs under the first one, with offsetting branches that interlace to form a knot under the bundle. From the knot hangs a chain of interlacing rings and scrolling motifs. The design is executed with pencil but, according to Vever, the manufactured jewel would have been created with gold, silver, and enamel. The design is of the style of the Second Empire in France in the mid-19th century, which featured naturalistic motifs decorated with recognizable fruits, and animals, and complex compositions of flowers and foliage. The designs often included diamonds and precious stones, as well as colored glass and other semi-precious stones.

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